Wel­come to StarryCritters.com.

IGES/NASA Hubble Gold Star WinnerThis site com­bines the won­ders of space with the imag­i­na­tion of chil­dren. We’ve all sat back on a summer’s day and watched the clouds drift by but how many of us still see drag­ons, birds, fish and clowns in the sky? The same can be said for the beau­ti­ful and amaz­ing images gath­ered from the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope, Spitzer Space Tele­scope and other obser­va­to­ries. For hun­dreds of years, sci­en­tists have named neb­ula and clus­ters after ani­mals here on Earth. We have the Owl Neb­ula, Horse­head Neb­ula, the tad­pole, the mice, Eagle Neb­ula and many others.

Note to Par­ents and Educators

The con­tent on Star­ryCrit­ters ranges from sim­ple expla­na­tions of astro­nom­i­cal terms and con­cepts to more detailed dis­cus­sions. Links also range from sim­ple infor­ma­tion to more com­plex. We believe the expla­na­tions are best suited for par­ents, edu­ca­tors and upper grade stu­dents. Par­ents of younger chil­dren may find it help­ful to sit with their child and explore the uni­verse together using the explana­tory text as a guide. Inter­act with the images and find your own pat­terns in the stars. Leave a com­ment on the site about what you see in the images. We love to share your stories.

Sit back, enjoy and share the won­ders of space with a child; or sim­ply enjoy the jour­ney yourself.

About Ter­ra­Zoom — The Cre­ator of StarryCritters

John Williams is a NASA JPL Solar Sys­tem Ambas­sador, sci­ence writer, web designer and devel­oper in Den­ver. If you live in the Den­ver or north­ern Col­orado area and would like to have John present at your school or orga­ni­za­tion about Star­ryCrit­ters or any other space topic and NASA mis­sion, please email him.

View more com­plete con­tact infor­ma­tion.

The Solar Sys­tem Ambas­sadors Pro­gram is a pub­lic out­reach pro­gram designed to work with moti­vated vol­un­teers across the nation. These vol­un­teers com­mu­ni­cate the excite­ment of JPL’s space explo­ration mis­sions and infor­ma­tion about recent dis­cov­er­ies to peo­ple in their local communities.


The ancient peo­ples saw pic­tures in the sky. From those pat­terns in the heav­ens, ancient sto­ry­tellers cre­ated leg­ends about heroes, maid­ens, drag­ons, bears, cen­taurs, dogs and myth­i­cal crea­tures…
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